Newcastle Starting To Look Like A Good Side

Dare we say it – that Newcastle looked a well drilled and good side last night at St. Andrews?

Leon Best – scores Newcastle second goal with majestic header

And after the frustrations of bossing the game at Ewoood Park last Saturday, but not being able to score,  it was great news that both of our strikers, Lovenkrands and Best, not only played well, but each scored an excellent opportunist goal.

And the first came after just two minutes as Gutierrez beat his man to put in one terrific left wing cross,  that Lovenkrands beat his defender to, and before you knew it – Newcastle were in the ascendancy and one up.

And then just five minutes into the second half Leon Best, who looked a good player last night and very good in the air, winning headers galore, turned in another great Gutierrez cross in classic style, and beat two Birmingham defenders to the ball.

Jonas had an excellent game out on the left wing, and his final ball in these days is a lot better than it used to be, and he is currently leading our Man of the Match poll  with 74% of the vote on our home page.

We were the better side last Saturday but didn’t get the result we deserved, and last night we were again the better side, and got all 3 points, which the lads worked their socks off for.

Alan Pardew had every right to be delighted at the display of his players:

“I think it was evident tonight that the players we have can fill the gap after Carroll.”

“The pleasing thing is that the two strikers showed effort and commitment despite the pressure that is on them.”

“Lovenkrands came off with a thigh strain and the other Best had to be substituted because of the amount of work he was doing.”

“But for them both to score from open play is the biggest plus for me.”

“We came into this game with momentum after our draws against Arsenal and Blackburn and it was really about getting the start right.”

“We started faster and that made the difference and we also passed the ball well on a tricky surface.”

That was Newcastle’s first win in 7 games, but in two of those games Newcastle were 1-0 up and gave away a last minute equalizer, and we drew four of those games.

But with 35 points after 27 games and currently in 9th place,  the lads have a great chance of finishing the season strongly, and in a decent position in the league. A couple of wins should see us safe in the Premier League for another season.

Newcastle now have two home games coming up against Bolton and Everton, and if we can win them, we’ll not only be well positioned in the league, but almost anything will be possible.

And that will be important in the summer, as we will try to attract some top players to the famous Newcastle United club.

We have to give Alan Pardew praise as well – as the man has come into a very difficult position, not changed things too drastically, and now has taken 16 points off his first 11 PL games in charge (4W, 4D, 3L) – not too bad at all.

And we have been more than impressed with Alan since he came to Tyneside, and it’s obvious to most that he’s been simply blown away by the passionate support he has found at the Newcastle club.

The lads deserve huge praise for a terrific performance last night – we are so proud of them.

Comments welcome.

21 comments so far

  • Tal_nufc4eva

    Feb 16, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #1

    1st 🙂
    well done last night newcastle!
    same again against bolton please?

  • dpo1981

    Feb 16, 2011 at 9:41 AM

    Comment #2

    Were playing well and all the players deserve credit for last night. Its nice to see that the apparently team spirit still exists and were now actually playing attractive football without having to just lump the ball forward for knock downs. Long may it continue.

  • cyprus

    Feb 16, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #3

    I’m glad for Jonas, an incredible player that all fans from other teams fear and admire and that many NUFC fans doubt because… he can’t cross! Ironic that.

  • partizanovec

    Feb 16, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Comment #4

    Last night we witnessed a professional NUFC performance from start to finish.
    We must build on this and contunue in that direction.
    Howay the lads!

  • fungus44

    Feb 16, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #5

    how needs ac not us ,we are playing football now not hoof ball up to the other end of the pitch

  • The Entertainers

    Feb 16, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Comment #6

    We played very well against stubborn opponents on a nasty pitch.
    Solid back 5, midfield is the heart beat of our team and we have to have one of the best midfirlds in the PL at the moment. Barton and Nolan should be internationals and Jonas and Tiote are already on the world stage!
    The two lads up front, especially Best played very well, after alot of criticism ( including plenty from myself )
    Not forgetting Pardew who is winning me’ over week after week. A gentleman on Tv, plays the game the right way, seems to handle
    Players professionally, my only concern is he’s still a yes man to Ashley, but hey after all Ashley is his boss, and when my boss tells me’ to do
    Something I disagree with I just get on with it, Pardews no different I guess!
    One happy Newcastle United fan today!

  • jamesnufc86

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #7

    I was there last night and what a game it was to be at. We wanted it more than Birmingham and everyone played well. I think Bolton and Everton are games we can win at home, and then look at what position we are in. You have to say Pardew has came in and done a very good job. Hope we can keep this up!! HWTL

  • stuckdownsouth

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #8

    Birmingham what a dump, ended up in some dodgy 70’s bar……anyway who cares great performance, I thought Barton was immense. When Lovenman went off Barton went round to every player to remind them to slow the game keep the ball. Hope he signs soon.

    Credit to Pards, tactically he was spot on!

  • southerngeordie

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #9

    36southerngeordie // Feb 16, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    For me this has been a season of two teams. I was a huge fan of CH and everything he achieved at the club, the players respected him and fans loved him, and I really thought he was the man to take the club forward. However, when we went out onto the pitch you never quite knew what team would turn up.

    Games against Villa, Arsenal and Sunderland will live long in the memory however, it still pains me to think about Blackpool, Stoke and WBA. During those games I can’t help but think it was raw passion and performance that got us through. We’d go out fighting and not stop for 90+mins – those games were amazing (Villa, Arsenal and Sunderland that is).

    Under AP it is a completely different story, we still have the passion however, we’ve been able to combine that with discipline and a greater tactical awareness. Last nights performance was one of the most composed and complete performances I’ve seen from us for a long time.

    I still question whether AP is the man to drive us forward – CH was such a gentleman and commanded huge respect from everyone at NUFC (and still does). AP came in with a questionable reputation and for some will always be a member of the Cockney Mafia. However, his tactics have been spot on, his press dealings have been honest, and most of all we are playing tight, attractive, and attacking football.

    He is still a long way off from being considered in the same league as CH by the fans but if he keeps up with the start he’s made I’m hoping it won’t be too far off.

  • NOVA2967

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    We’ve been a good side all season. The only way is up. The team has great character and is easy for players to succeed given games. Ireland will be great in are team probably down the right.

  • lesh

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #11

    stuckdownsouth // Feb 16, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    ‘……Birmingham what a dump, ended up in some dodgy 70?s bar………’

    And with everybody drinking Watneys Red Barrell looking like Noddy Holder to boot?

    Paradise on earth!!!!

    Bet you were drinking Watneys Red Barrell as well?

  • Markaccus

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #12

    We are now only 5 points from a potential jose ink blot! Surely we can manage two more wins.

  • lesh

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #13

    Whoops, I’ve sacked the proof-reader for overlooking the second reference to Watneys Red Barrell!

  • toonhamu

    Feb 16, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #14

    I think it will take more than 5 more points to see us safe, but we’re definitely going in the right direction, especially by beating the teams around us in 2011 (Wigan, West Ham, Brum)

    I think the early goal helped to settle us, but all in all, our CB’s coped well with Zigic and Oba, and I thought our midfield was excellent, inparticular Jonas

    Pards got it spot on, we went there with a game plan and executed it perfectly

  • silvervrs

    Feb 16, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #15

    Judging by that photo, if it doesn’t work out for Leon Best as a footballer, he should definitely represent Team GB in London 2012 in highjump. Gold for sure!

    A lot of +ve comments for Pardew after our win yesterday but Strolla Ameobi’s injury may be a blessing in disguise for Pardew. If he was fit, no doubt Pardew would play him ahead of Lovenkrands and Best and Ranger.

    Seriously doubt that we could replicate such good performances if Ameobi was our target man. We’ll see what Pardew’s made of when Strolla returns from injury. IMO, Best and Lovenkrands should start and Ranger as sub – and Ameobi sold.

  • sweendog

    Feb 16, 2011 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #16

    Excellent performance except the last 15.
    Tiote was outstanding, there was one point we lost the ball in the brummies box and he ran the length of the pitch overtook the guy and blocked the resulting shot from Bentley.
    Still though guti was the stand out player well done in proving the critics wrong.
    Also Pardew again got his tactics right..

  • rwpoynter

    Feb 16, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #17

    I am old enough to remember Watney’s Red Barrel, lesh! It was gnat piss, thank goodness for CAMRA. Back to football, as I could not get to the game , thanks to the guy who posted the link on Russian (?) TV,because it was very good. When we don’t just hoof it up the field and play the ‘Arsenal’ passing game we are class. Forget Carroll, he’s gone, and our real talent is in the middle. In this game , if you control the middle, you win (mostly). We must NOT sell, Tiote, Barton ,Colocinni , Enrique or Jonas. MA, who despite his mistakes, is right to put on a wage cap, must also realise that he is in a competitive market. If we lose all our best players, he will lose his money. If we keep them, success will follow, and with success, may well come profit.
    Great game last night, well done all the team, glad for Peter and Leon as it will do their confidence a lot of good. Just hope Nile gets a goal soon too. Finally a big thank you to Alan Pardew. You have tightened up the defence and with Kevin Nolan have kept the team spirit, which was in danger of going into free fall after the CH and AC episodes.

  • Phil K

    Feb 16, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #18

    Is Ireland going to be FIT for any of the remaining flamin’ games ?
    He’s loan isn’t he ?

  • Burni

    Feb 16, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Comment #19

    southerngeordie @ 9 comments like this are the exact reason that I love this blog.

    I have to stress the tactical difference of Pardew, he is not afraid to mix things up, bringing guthrie and dare i say it sol on when he did, perfect. passing football more often than before, there were 20 minutes in the second half where we passed it around like arsenal, birmingham didnt have a sniff.

    I really like this newcastle team<—– key word

  • southerngeordie

    Feb 16, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #20

    Cheers Burni – after CH left i really feared for the club and us slipping it dark times but one thing they’ve got that can’t be broken is the team spirit. The players want to play for each other and have a genuine love for the club.

    As much as i loved CH it’s clear he had taken the club as far as he could. I will never fully trust MA but he throw the dice with Pardew and on the surface it appears to be paying off.

    For me the biggest thing will be next year and making sure we dont suffer second season syndrome

  • JP...from The Rock

    Feb 16, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #21

    For me I will judge Alan Pardew at the end of this summers transfer window. He has to buy well. If Mike Ashley invests the money in the team on new signings and Alan Pardew buys crap or pays over the price I doubt Ashley will offer more money in future transfer windows. I really hope Alan Pardew can spot class and talent and buys great for us. Remember that Leon Best was a Chris Hughton signing and many thought he was a bad buy…I always thought he just needed time on the pitch (much better than Ameobi).


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